Puncheur

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Gilbert sprinting to victory in the road race at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships

Puncheur, or puncher in English, is a name given to a road bicycle racer who specialises in rolling terrain with short but steep climbs.[1][2][3]

Ideal races for this type of rider are the one-day spring classics. These races are characterized by multiple hills that have a 10–20% gradient and are 1–2 km long. Examples include climbs at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, the Mur de Huy in the Flèche Wallonne and the Cauberg in the Amstel Gold Race . Puncheurs are usually relatively well built, with broader shoulders and bigger legs than the average racing cyclist.[4] The physique of this type of rider allows them to escape from the peloton through quick bursts, sometimes with the assistance of a teammate.

Examples of such racers include Philippe Gilbert, Julian Alaphilippe, Simon Gerrans, Joaquim Rodríguez, and Peter Sagan, who are able to sprint up the shorter climbs to win a stage or a single-day race. Often these racers have had a career in mountainbike racing, where there are many shorter but steep climbs. However, their lower endurance is a disadvantage in stage races where the climbs are usually longer (5–20 km), albeit at lower gradients (5–10%). In stage races they often work as domestiques for team leaders, reeling in breakaways, or go on the attack to force rival teams to expend energy to close them down.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Copeland, Tom. 'Le Tour' "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2013-10-03. . 01JUL11
  2. ^ Cossins, Peter. 'Mental visualisation boosts Fédrigo’s potential' [1]. 30JUL10
  3. ^ Gallagher, Brendan . 'Tour de France 2010, stage two: Classics territory offers puncheurs chance to shine' [2]. The Telegraph, 05JUL10
  4. ^ a b Mahé, Louise (23 March 2015). "What type of Tour de France rider are you most like?". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 25 March 2015.  Another example is Nacer Bouhanni whose not-very-passive passive-aggressive style has seen him take the term quite literally, by putting the punch into puncheur. The Cofidis rider may float like a butterfly, but stings like a gnat.